- Gender and Relationships
Why Men Hide Their Feelings
It happens in every relationship. It doesn’t matter if you have been on only one date or if you have been dating for years. The question of what he’s feeling – and why he hides it – is something every woman wonders at one time or another. Have you ever KNOWN he felt something, but he refused to admit it?Have you watched him try to find a way around admitting his feelings to you? Have you dealt with a man who seemed so confused that you wanted to draw him a map? It can be frustrating. It can feel impossible to figure out. But if you take the time to explore the REASONS behind why men hide their feelings, you might understand more about how his mind works.
1: THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY FEEL
Think about falling in love. Really think about it for a minute. It is exhilarating. It can make you feel so alive! It can make you smile even in your sleep. But let’s be honest: falling in love is often scary, too. It’s scary because the emotions are so intense and so overwhelming that it’s hard to sort them all out. It can be so confusing to fall in love. If you don’t understand what you feel, your natural instinct is to hide from those feelings. If you see something you don’t like, your natural instinct is to shield your eyes. If you taste something you don’t like, your instinct is to spit it out! That’s a pretty graphic example, but you get the picture. When a man is afraid of his emotions, the first thing he does is try to hide them away in a little closet far away from his heart. Getting over this reason to hide his feelings takes time. It takes some courage, too.
But he can do it with plenty of reassurance from you. The more open you are, the more likely he will eventually talk about what he feels. And once he’s talking about it, he will understand it.
2: THEY GET SCARED
What if a man knows he is falling in love? What if he is overwhelmed by those emotions but he KNOWS what they are? What if he’s not confused at all? Then he’s simply scared. This is one reason that everyone can understand. Falling in love is scary, even if you KNOW what you’re doing! Falling in love is a life-changing event. It changes a person on a very deep level.Is it any wonder that it scares men half to death? That’s why he needs your patience. You can’t wait forever, but you can cut him a little bit of slack. Everybody gets scared. He’s going to get scared, too. And that’s okay. The catch is this: Do NOT let him think that it is okay to STAY scared. Sometimes a man will try to avoid moving into a deeper relationship by saying he is scared of those overwhelming feelings. He might ask for more time.
This is okay to a point. But always recognize it as a POSSIBLE stalling tactic. If you think he is stalling, it is time to draw back. Give him a taste of missing you. THEN he will have to move forward. A man can get over being scared if he is scared of losing you!
3: THEIR EMOTIONAL BONDS TAKE LONGER
Men tend to take much longer than women to get in touch with their emotions. That’s why a woman is often ready to go full-speed-ahead and he is stalling like mad! It isn’t that he’s stalling. He just really isn’t there yet. This can quickly become a problem! One of the worst things you can do is push things at this stage. A man has to come around to the idea on his own. He has to believe it was HIS idea to get emotionally involved with you. By pushing him for a commitment before he’s ready, he will go back to being scared. That’s not good for anybody. This is the time when patience REALLY is the key. If his emotions are not there yet, sit back and give him a bit more time.
Don’t worry about the question of whether he is stalling to stay out of a relationship. If he is doing that, he will never move forward. You will recognize it! But if he is moving forward – just at a slower pace than you might like – he’s still in the game. That bond WILL form. Take a deep breath and be patient. It might happen sooner than you think!
4: HE MUST FEEL SAFE
What will get a man over the speed bumps and into the home stretch? He has to trust you. He has to know that all that fear and confusion and uncertainty will land him in a SAFE place. Everyone wants to feel safe, right? You can help him feel safe by giving him every reason to trust you. Give him every reason to feel comfortable with you. Listen to him talk. Share parts of your life with him. Offer a listening ear when he needs it. Share your thoughts and feelings – within reason, of course.
The closer you get, the more comfortable he will feel. The more comfortable he is, the safer he will feel. Soon he will be sharing everything he feels with you. That fear will gradually fade away.
5: HE IS WAITING ON YOU
Let’s assume a man gets through the first four reasons for hiding his
emotions. He is ready to wear his heart on his sleeve and say those three little words. Now the ball is in your court. The right man will wait for you to show him that it’s okay to fall in love. He will wait until you show him it is okay to share everything he thinks and feels. But once you give him that green light, look out! A man who has moved past the four big reasons for hiding his emotions is a man who is READY to move forward. He wants something real, and he wants it with you. When you’re ready to go, so is he. So be prepared for a truckload of emotion! This is the point where he will start talk. He will tell you everything. The man will NOT shut up. And this is GOOD. No, actually…this is GREAT!
Are you ready to help him get there? Start by understanding the reasons he doesn’t want to share his feelings with you. Then be patient with him – but not TOO patient. A man needs a little bit of pushing in order to get over that fear of sharing himself with you. Then sit back and enjoy the results! Men are always going to hide their feelings. But you are WORTH showing those feelings, and deep down, he knows it.